BEST NELSAP Regional Cordinator

Eng. Elicad Elly Nyabeeya

It’s been a great honour to continue to serve as Regional Coordinator, providing strategic leadership and management of NELSAP-CU. The year 2018-2019 was remarkable as efforts to support Nile Equatorial Lakes (NEL) countries to implement various trans-boundary projects with regional significance and related to the common use of the Nile Basin waters continued to generate tangible benefits. Efforts to coordinate the governments of DR Congo and Uganda on the joint management of trans-boundary Lakes Edward and Albert paid off when the two countries signed a bilateral agreement on October 20, 2018 in Uganda. The agreed provisions will harmonise fisheries and aquaculture policies, legislation and practices. With support from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) we provided two modern mobile water quality laboratory vehicles for water quality monitoring, two equipped patrol boats for joint surveillance of the lakes and also trained 23 coxswains and patrol boat operators. In November 2018, we held the 21st Council of Ministers (NELCOM) meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It was graced by the Prime Minister of Tanzania Rt. Hon. Kassim Majaliwa and six cabinet ministers. Prime Minister Majaliwa urged countries yet to ratify the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) to do so and pave way for establishment of the Nile River Basin Commission.

On strategy development, we completed and published three key strategic documents, NELSAP Strategic Plan, Resource Mobilisation Strategy and Guidelines as well as Communication Strategy. Implementation of our flagship project, the 80 MW Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project (RRFHP) between Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania, financed by the World Bank reached 53% as of June 2019. Related to this project, NELSAP-CU inaugurated Kigina Health Centre in Kirehe district, Rwanda, benefitting 29,000 people. This is part of a USD 15.5 million benefitsharing component of the Rusumo project. Similar projects are under implementation in Tanzania and Burundi.

Interconnection of the electric grids of the NEL countries project constitutes 930km Overhead Transmission Lines (OHTL) with 17 substations. Several lines were completed and initial power trading between Uganda and Rwanda is planned to commence end of 2019 once construction of the Shango substation is complete. In Uganda, both the lines and the Mbarara substation were completed. As part of our strategic transformative agenda, a Concept Note for establishment of Project Advisory/Acceleration Unit and Project Preparation Fund was finalised with participation of NEL countries and approved by the NELCOM in November 2018. The unit and fund will accelerate preparation of prioritised bankable projects to address water, food and energy needs and foster regional integration and development.

Development of a Basin-wide Investment Programme (NELIP) to structure prioritised investment programmes with “buy-in” from Member States and all relevant ministries was initiated. The first ever NELIP regional consultative workshop was held in August 2018 in Nairobi with participation of multi-sectoral ministries (Water, Energy, Agriculture, Fisheries, Finance, Foreign affairs) from nine NBI Member States. A total of 96 key projects were identified and subjected to technical analysis while 26 were prioritised for packaging, resource mobilisation and implementation. We received USD 1.5 million for feasibility of Angololo multipurpose water project shared between Kenya and Uganda while appraisal of Akanyaru multipurpose water resources project between Rwanda and Burundi was completed. NELSAP-CU received commitment from the AfDB to contribute USD 80 million for implementation of the Uganda-DR Congo power transmission line. I thank our Member States and implementing partners for their cooperation. I am convinced 2019/2020 will be an even more remarkable year.